Switzerland, Part 2: Now that is a view: From Switzerland to Italy by train

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When doing my research on this area, which I thoroughly enjoy doing, the Centrovalli train line comes up again and again as the highlight of many traveling to this region. Some went so far as to say it was the one of the most romantic train rides in Europe.

swissafter8It didn’t take much arm twisting to get me on that train. Leaving Locarno, the train twists and turns through charming towns, across the mountain valley sprinkled with the grand river, waterfalls and vineyards, until it emerges in Domodossola, Italy. The journey takes about two hours and does not disappoint.

Domodossola’s old city is almost Medieval; it feels very, very old. It utterly delighted me as we stopped for a coffee in the piazza. You could see the horses and carriages of a time long ago, if only in your imagination.

swissafter9Today, the city bustles in that way that Italian towns often do. Everyone seems to know everyone, and the piazza was filled with much meeting and greeting, many with their dogs in tow. Newspapers are still read here, and returned to the cafe’s newsstand. Little children skip about while Mom or Dad talk to someone they know.

swissafter10One little girl sat dutifully in her cafe chair with her face buried in her smartphone playing a game, her father having to remind her to look up and greet the townspeople who had stopped by to say hello. So time has not completely escaped the region. But sitting there even just watching, you felt a part of something — what was it? Community? A simpler time? The charm of Italian cafe life? All of the above, maybe. But a smile spread across my face as I watched, thinking that if I were a writer of fiction, I would have plenty of fodder here.

But our train would soon be departing, so we needed to pay our bill and be on our way, leaving this little place nestled in the mountain valley only a memory in our minds.

swissafter11What? Mi scusi? You don’t take credit cards? Um, cash only? We only have Swiss francs, not Euros, as they use in Italy. Off my love went to find a ATM, and so it goes. We had crossed the border.

swissafter7Upon returning “home” to the land of the Swiss franc, life by the pool sounded like a great idea, and so we remained in the pool and the surrounding gardens right through dinner. I spent the remainder of the night on our balcony as I wrote and sketched, time for la dolce far niete. Time. (Sigh.)

To be continued…

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About Stephanie Schlatter Art

Stephanie Schlatter is an Artist who draws from the world for inspiration. While she calls Grand Rapids, Michigan, home she’s often off on new adventures. For more than a decade, her journeys have taken her across the globe. She has studied art both locally and abroad, including time in Mexico, where she decided to shift her focus from photography to painting. Stephanie's travels led her to found Absolutely Art: A Project for Change in 2006. Through this non-profit organization, she brings art instruction to the children of Ethiopia while supporting their education. Stephanie's work reflects an expression influenced by other cultures which resonates a variety of influences that have given her work direction.

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